(Above left) Question: Whose was the most fortuitious redshirt last season?
Answer: Atlas Herrion (hands down).
Shown getting plenty of depth on his front squat, Herrion is capable of playing any position on the line. In fact, he heads into fall camp as the Tide's principal reserve at four different positions. If Herrion hadn't voluntarily sat out last season, saving his final year of eligibility for 2003, Bama's already thin O-Line depth would be positively anorexic.
Question: Which Tide player could lose 30+ pounds without anyone really noticing?
Answer: "Bear" Bryant, though "Big D" (aka "Big Sexy) might argue.
Along with Ahmad Childress, Dennis Alexander and Mark Sanders, Bryant has concentrated this summer on losing weight. He weighed almost 350 pounds in the spring, which was frankly too heavy--even for an athlete as big as Bryant. His goal is to develop into a dominant defensive tackle, but Bryant knows that to achieve that he must get into significantly better shape.
Question: Which Tide player has the most impressive personal goal for himself?
Answer: Arguably, Justin Smiley.
Shown catching his breath during conditioning work inside the Crisp Indoor Facility, Smiley says that when his Tide career is finished he'd like to be remembered as one of Bama's great offensive linemen. "It's an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence as men like John Hannah and Chris Samuels," Smiley said. Only a junior and already rated a pre-season All-American by several publications, Smiley is certainly headed in that direction.
Question: Which Tide player will be Bama's next first-round draft choice?
Answer: the smart money is on Antwan Odom.
If there's one player on the squad drawing more attention from the pro scouts than offensive linemen Smiley and Wesley Britt, it's defensive end Antwan Odom. Shown working on the leg-extension machine, Odom was the SEC's No. 2 sackman last season. He and his wife welcomed their first child this summer, and Odom is frankly looking for a breakout season.
Question: Which redshirt freshman is most likely to have the biggest statistical impact on the team?
Answer: Kenneth Darby would be a good bet.
Shown stretching before beginning his weight-lifting cycle, Darby brings a different set of skills to the table than Bama's other returning tailbacks (Shaud Williams and Ray Hudson). Arguing over whether or not Darby's first or second string right now is frankly foolish. What's certain is that barring injury the powerful speedster will be called upon early and often to carry the football.
Here's a tough trivia question for the really dedicated Tide fan: If for some reason veteran Nick Ridings couldn't play versus South Florida, who would handle the critical long-snapping role?
Answer: Jonathan Brunson, of course.
A tad undersized for defensive end (6-3, 248), Brunson is one of the hardest-working players on the squad. He gave up a scholarship at a smaller school to walk-on and play for Alabama. "Jonathan is what Alabama football is all about," was how position coach Paul Randolph described him.
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